For a season, I am fortunate enough to have my adult daughters and my mom living in the same city. This scenario surely won’t last long as they pursue their dreams and careers elsewhere. But for now, I’m in the place I have chosen to live and work, and I have family here. It feels good, and I’m very thankful.
Realizing these seasons are often short-lived, we have set aside one evening a week where we get together and just sit around the dinner table talking, sharing our lives, and, of course, eating home-cooked food.
Today’s recipe is one we have enjoyed a few times. Not only does it feed us for dinner, but it provides terrific leftovers. So we have workweek lunches or frozen dinners for down the road.
I pump up the mushroom flavor with portobellos and white mushrooms, and then add plenty of onions and carrots for texture. The result is a classic lasagna that will make you and all who share it with you thankful for the effort. (I do not suggest using no-cook noodles with this lasagna.)
There are loads of reasons to be thankful every day. I just have to be intent on making sure to celebrate them and hope you will, too.
Contact Alicia Ross at Kitchen Scoop, c/o Universal Uclick, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106, or send email to firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit the Kitchen Scoop Web site at www.kitchenscoop.com.
Very Mushroom Lasagna
Fresh spinach salad
Garlic cheese bread
Very Mushroom Lasagna
Yield: 12 servings
Start to finish: 20 minutes prep; 50 minutes baking time; 10 to 15 minutes cooling
9 uncooked regular lasagna noodles
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound portobello mushroom caps, coarsely chopped
1 pound white button mushrooms, sliced
2 large onions, chopped
1 cup fresh carrots, sliced
3 cups (24 ounces) prepared marinara sauce of choice (see Cook’s Note)
1 tablespoon Italian herb blend (Italian seasoning)
2 teaspoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound low-fat ricotta cheese
1 egg, well-beaten
4 cups mozzarella cheese
1 cup parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook the lasagna according to package directions to al dente texture. Do not overcook. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in an extra-large skillet, heat oil over medium. Add mushrooms, onions, and carrots. Stir and cook until mushrooms release their water and carrots are tender, about 6 minutes. Add marinara sauce, herb blend, garlic, salt, and pepper to vegetables. Stir and cook 5 minutes to blend flavors. Set aside.
Combine the ricotta cheese and egg in a small bowl and set aside.
To build the casserole: Spray a deep (10-by-13-by-3-inch or approximately 4-quart) glass casserole dish with nonstick cooking oil. Spread 1 cup of sauce in the bottom of dish in a thin layer. Top with 3 noodles, side by side. Layer 2 more cups of sauce, half the ricotta mixture, 1½ cups mozzarella cheese, and 3 more noodles. Repeat layer. Then top the entire casserole with remaining sauce, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses. (Try to cover the top 3 noodles with either sauce or cheese to prevent noodles from getting hard while baking.) Cover tightly with foil.
Bake 40 minutes or until bubbling rapidly at edges. Uncover and bake 10 more minutes or until cheese on top turns light golden brown and is sizzling. Remove from oven and cool 10 to 15 minutes before slicing and serving.
Cook’s Note: For testing purposes I used Classico Tomato and Basil Sauce.
Approximate values per serving: 334 calories, 15 g fat (8 g saturated), 53 mg cholesterol, 24 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 4 g dietary fiber, 826 mg sodium.